Wow, this reminds me so much of what I went through with my mother, she even went so far as to take us and my older brother to a "family counselling session" to try and talk me out of it.
Have you considered getting a working holiday visa? You didn't mention how long you're planning on being away for, but if it's for a year or more, I'd go for it. It sucks when your parents control your money, ok that's an understatement, and without ever having met your parents I really can't give you any advice on how to convince them to let you use what really is your money to finance your trip.
One thing I did when I went overseas was I left essentials like photocopies of my passport, credit card info, etc with her, she felt touched that I let her be the one to hold all of that in case any of those should go missing, plus it was a good way to demonstrate to her that I'm not going into this blindly. I also agree with A_broad that what happens abroad could just as easily happen at home, besides, bad things that happen abroad are much easier to sell to the media than bad things that happen at home. I would stress this to your parents. Also, and I did have to repeat this to my mother over and over untill she got the picture, when you stay in hostels you may start out by yourself but you are very rarely ever by yourself for long at all. Explaining hostel culture to your parents should help out a lot. For example, when I was 22 I travelled in Africa, alone, and being tall and blonde I did stick out. By making friends in hostels, I probably could never have walked anywhere alone at night even if I wanted to, so in essence explaining hostels as something like "having travel partners that change constantly" could easily help.
And once you do go, whetehr it's with their help or not, we are very blessed to be living in the 21st Century where we have email and Facebook!
I come from a very conservation Asian family which I used to have an overprotective DAD, I can even go to other state to continue my studies. I have to stay at home and continue my studies locally( somewhere nearby).
But since i start to earn my own living, things change. My Dad are not that overprotective anymore because he knew that iam mature enough to handle things. for example, i will go for a short holiday on my own (alone) for a few days. after my holiday, i will go back home and tell my dad what i have seen and met? we do share the stories... this can show them that how we handle things maturely and we are giving them an assurance that we can take goos of ourself!
what i wanted to tell you is... before you want to make any decision on travelling alone or other decision.. firstly you have to convince yourself first before you try to convicing others.
1) are you financing independent?
2) can you take care of yourself well when thing goes wrong without parent help?
3) why your parent are so worry about you? are you mature ehough?
after reading all the reply and your feedback, i knew that you are quite worry about disapproval from your mom because you need financial support from her. this show that you are still living under their financial control. without their support you cant even step out from the house. you have to earn your own income to go for your dream holiday.
Back to your parent shoe, if i were your parent... i would worry about you because all these year you have been taking money from home although you have already working. what if you go travel alone, and run out of money then who do you will go for it, since your parent is not by your side! pls think about it before your start blaming others.
sorry, if i have just said any words that hurt your feeling. pls so forgive!
As the mom of a 29 yr old travelling son, I felt I should voice my thoughts and experience as the parent of a traveler. I will admit that the first time he went to Europe, I was nervous but he grew and matured sooo much during those months that when he said he was off again, I could not stop him.
The biggest thing I can tell you is that you need to communicate with your parents while you are gone whether it be telephone or internet. My son has a cell phone and buys sim cards for the different countries and we communicate by either facebook, web cam or telephone. The consistent communication takes the edge off any fears I have plus I can hear the maturity in what he says and the things he does. I have access to all his accounts and also have copies of his ID which I will admit has come in handy when he left his wallet where he shouldn't have and we had to cancel his visa card and have it replaced (took only a few days and that was in Asia). Hopefully, your parents are internet savvy and if not, then you need to teach them what they need to know. The internet has been a godsend and I would have been much more of a worrier if not for this wonderful technology.
I realize now that travelling the world is just something that this generation does. It can be as safe as you make it! If you start walking the streets late at night by yourself, you are asking for trouble but play it safe and all will be well. As you said, you could get hit by a car while crossing the street 2 blocks from your home. When your time is up, it doesn't really matter where you are, it will be up and we don't know when or where that will be.
As said above, there are thousands out there just doing that, travelling and working. And plenty are not young! You will have plenty of years to work but for right now, if your heart is into travelling you need to do it or you will always be sorry that you didn't.
You said that you already went to Europe, how did that go? I am actually living a new experience with my son travelling Asia and soon to be Australia, as whereever he is, I research the spot, look for pictures and learn more about the world geography than I knew at 16. I am enjoying following his adventures and they have been some good ones.
Hope you can work it out!
[ Edit: Edited on Dec 13, 2008, at 7:57 PM by Bada Bing ]
Thank you to everyone who has replied so far. You're suggestions aren't falling on deaf ears.
However, there are a few things that I feel I need to clarify. . . .
Firstly, the money is 100% mine. My parents are not funding this trip. It is actually money given to me by my grandparents as an inheritance. The problem doesn't rely on the fact that the money is not mine, but rather on the fact that I do not have bank account control over money that is rightfully mine.
Secondly, I am not financially dependant on my parents whatsoever. In fact, I live on my own, in my own apartment, which I pay for with my own income from my own job. Also, I pay all of the bills, including utilities, laundry, groceries, phone, cable, and Internet. Currently, I'm a student in university and my parents are paying for my tuition up until the point when they run out of money, at which point I will get a student loan and pay for the rest.
Thirdly, if my parents have difficulty letting me go, they have had ample opportunities to do so. In the past, I have lived in another country (Germany), in another province (British Columbia), and have travelled on my own before. It makes perfect sense to me, at least, that this should not be such a big step for them, namely allowing me to travel in Europe, alone.
In order to help ease this great, great, great burden of letting their child take her dream trip to Europe this summer, I have tried to be cooperative. The promises have included a very detailed step-by-step contingency plan in case ANYTHING happens, openness to researching joining tour (blegh! ) groups that I could join so that I won't be on my own for the entire time, and me calling old friends and reletives asking if they want to go to Europe next summer. So far my efforts have not been rewarded. To top it off, my sister is even more paranoid than my parents, telling me, and I quote: "I don't even think it is safe for you to go to Edmonton by yourslelf" !!!!!!!!!!! endquote. (Edmonton is a three hour drive from the city I live in) Can you BELIEVE this?! No wonder it seems like it is over their- all of their- dead bodies that I go to Europe next summer.
Honestly, I wish that they would see it from my point of view, that this trip is extremely important to me, that I've dreamt of going on this trip for nearly the last decade, that it would make me happy to be able to go. In fact, it would make me happy to be able to go even if I got in trouble with the law, or mugged, or sexually harassed, or whatever other perils that could possibly await me on the other side of the ocean! How do you make such stubborn people understand?
Thank you to all of you for replying. As you write, I will make a list of points that I could bring up in future conversations with my parents about going to Europe, and I will let you know how the next one goes.
well then, why do you need their permission? Of course, it's nice to be validated, and have family support you in what you do, but it sounds like you don't need their material help, and are financially independent. The problem with your inheritance is probably beyond the scope of this forum, a lawyer might have some ideas on that. But, otherwise, if you are indeed independent, just go and have fun. The folks, and the sister, will have to live with it - it is YOUR life, after all.
OK, if your Mom needs to worry, let her. That's HER problem, not yours. And, making contingency plans, like your Dad wants is not such a bad thing.
Or, is there another problem that you may not be telling us - that YOU need their approval. The bottom line is that you are now an adult and do NOT need their permission. If you can pay for the trip, GO. If you need their encouragement and validation so much, then you might benefit from a little counseling to help you move on.
Just to let you know, I finally did have that conversation with my Mom about going to Europe as a solo female traveller. It took some convincing, as you may be able to imagine, but there is good news!!! She did give me the green light to go! Honestly, I'm very relieved and completely excited for my upcoming trip. Much thanks to all who posted advice on what to say to her; I can say that I used much of it. It took some patience but where there's a will, there's a way.
Also, I would like to say in encouragement for any other female out there contemplating a trip on her own, that it is possible to convince even the most difficult parent to let you go. It is a delicate undertaking, though. Be patient. Be gentle. Be willing to make some compromises. But above all, as someone said to me today, "Don't let go of your dream."
Happy travels! (indeed, for travels and happiness go hand in hand!)
I would just pack my bags, get a ticket, and go.
I've done it before to Las Vegas and I haven't regretted it.
Looking foward of doing again soon.
[ Edit: Edited on 16-Apr-2009, at 19:58 by MinusJ ]